Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why we love Britney

Three facts about me:
1. I'm an editor of an entertainment mag.
2. I'm a blogger.
3. I'm a huge Britney Spears fan.

Now bear with me a bit while I tie those things together.

This week, Britney appeared in a small role in How I Met Your Mother. And for such a tiny stint in an American sitcom, it made headlines and was talked about in blogs. Well, Britney can just chew gum and it still gets real estate on any news outfit. She's in every issue of the magazine I edit. I always get letters from readers asking me to feature her, and I do. And it's not just because I'm a huge fan so I'm glad to oblige but because, one, her life is so bigger than life that I can't not put her there and, two, she sells the mag.

So since I mentioned it already, let's talk about her life. From the romance with Justin to its ugly breakup, the quickie marriage to Jason Alexander, the whirlwind romance and short-lived chaotic marriage with Kevin Federline, the pregnancies and the cute sons, the wild partying, the panty-less excursions, the nervous breakdowns, the rehab stints, the custody dramas, the humiliating VMA performance, et al... Britney's life is one magnetic theater that's better than any soap opera out there.

Many people wonder why everyone's still so fascinated with the fallen pop star. Well, beyond the tabloids, we have to realize that in her nine-year career, she did sell over 83 million records worldwide. She's the only female in music history who can boast that her first four studio albums debuted at number one in the U.S. charts. She's an amazing dancer and choreographer. She writes most of her songs--and those songs are undeniably infectious. She's extremely pretty but not in a scary way. She's sexy. She's always controversial. And she's so popular that anything she endorses--from pop music to soda pop--sells. She is, quite simply, a star. Honestly, I think the superstars of this world are Elvis, The Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson--then a host of upstarts came along--and then there was Britney. No one has really replaced her yet.

But what makes her most appealing, at least in my book, is actually what she's best at: her music. Yes, her music is always catchy, has mass appeal, very marketable. But the most special thing about her music is its diary-like feel. Her songs are always so personal, revealing her most intimate thoughts to the world. She opens up to her fans like no other star ever has and always in the realm of her music. To this generation of tabloid lovers and bloggers who are always too willing to expose their thoughts and lap up others, Britney is a gift from the gods of gossip. Before stars had MySpace, there was Britney's music.

Though she was a superstar, we were surprised when she sang this: "If there's nothing missing in my life, then why do these tears come at night?" - Lucky

After she and Justin broke up, Britney wrote this heartbreaking song:
"Every time I try to fly, I fall. Without my wings I feel so small. I guess I need you, baby." - Everytime

And with the insanity that's happening in her life, I'm sure this is what she has to say:
"They say I'm crazy, I really don't care. That's my prerogative... Some ask me questions: Why am I so real? But they don't understand me... Everybody's talking all this stuff about me. Why don't they just let me live? I don't need permission, make my own decisions. That's my prerogative." - Prerogative

Yup, Britney doesn't seem to care that she's living her life in front of all us:
"Cameras are flashing my way... and they keep watchin'... I just can't control myself... They want more... Well, I'll give 'em more." - Gimme More

But she's shrewd. She knows exactly how we see her:
"I'm Mrs. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous... I'm Mrs. "Oh my god, that Britney's shameless"... I'm Mrs. "Extra! Extra! This just in!"... I'm Mrs. "She's too big, now she's too thin" (you want a piece of me)." - Piece of Me

And yet she confesses that
"I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am and I don't wanna be so damn protected. There must be another way cause I believe in taking chances but who am I to say what a girl is to do? God, I need some answers." - Overprotected

But what I really want her to be thinking right now is this:
"I'm not a girl, not yet a woman. All I need is time, a moment that is mine while I'm in between... But if you look at me closely, you will see it in my eyes, this girl will always find her way." - Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

Indeed, in this age of ravenous voyeurism, Britney is the ultimate star.

Find your way, Britney. We'll still be here waiting for you to come back to the top where you always belonged.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

This Easter, think Jesus... not Rabbits!

Lots of people are buying baby bunnies this Easter for their kids. Instead, parents should be telling their kids that rabbits or colored eggs have nothing to do with the season. This is the perfect time to tell them about God's love for us--how God sent His only Son to die for our sins, and how this Son, Jesus, overcame sin and death so that we may be saved.

It's the greatest story ever told and yet we choose to tell them dumb stories about egg hunts and rabbits. Worse, we buy them rabbits which, by the way, make the most horrible pets for kids. Yes! I'm a rabbit owner and it took me quite some time (and a bit of shock) to learn how to live with these animals. Rabbits have very sharp teeth and claws. I have scars all over my body. Rabbits are ground-loving creatures that hate to be cuddled and lifted. We have to respect that and kids don't understand how such a cute ball of fur can't stand to be grabbed.

Soon, kids begin to dislike the rabbit for its violence (yes, rabbits bite and claw their way out of your arms) and the rabbit ends up neglected and even abused. Please. Don't buy rabbits this Easter. Save these beautiful creatures from certain death or an unloved life. Easter is all about life renewed; buying rabbits for children will only sentence them to a miserable life or death.

To learn more about rabbits, please click on the box. Thank you. And do have a blessed Easter!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Love never fails

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and today is my husband's birthday. Needless to say, I get very excited this time of the year. This Valentine's, we surprised each other with secret gifts. It's so much fun to be in love! Oh, but it's so much better when you're in love with the same person for a long time now.

I met Vince when I was just 22. Now I'm 31. I love him more now, more than I ever thought I am capable. Nine years ago, I was a different girl. Even one year ago, I was different. Every day I become a better person because of Vince's love for me. His love envelopes me, covers me, calms me, strengthens me, guides me, inspires me... Though I have always felt complete (God is the one who ultimately overflows from my soul), having Vince in my life is incredible joy.

Of course, not every relationship is perfect. But I'm glad that we're both writers. We are excellent communicators so nothing is ever left unresolved. We know exactly how to express our feelings and hurts and hopes and disappointments and expectations. We know how to talk to each other. I am grateful for such a huge blessing--that he and I are talkers! Now, the listening part, well, that always needs work (haha) but we do end up listening to each other and then a new day for Vince and me begins. A new Vince. A new me. A new love.

So now here's a little secret. Use it and your love will grow and be incredible! In our relationship, this chapter from the Bible has always helped. It's been used so often at weddings (it was read in mine) but never fully explained and perhaps understood. But it isn't corny; in fact, it holds the secret and the power to any relationship--be it marriage, friendship or family. Just replace the word "love" with your name and then feel your love transformed as you strive to be the embodiment of love.

"Frances is patient, Frances is kind.
Frances does not envy, Frances does not boast, Frances is not proud.
Frances is not rude, Frances is not self-seeking, Frances is not easily angered, Frances keeps no record of wrongs.
Frances does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Frances always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Frances never fails."
(a modified version of I Corinthians 13:4-8)


Yep, sounds impossible! And me?! Oh, how hard it is for me to be patient and kind, to be humble and meek, to be considerate, to be selfless and generous, to be tolerant, to forgive! But this truly is the secret to any happy relationship. Whenever I feel like giving up, I just remember this chapter. I remember that if I love this person, I must not fail him or her. That's what love ultimately means.

Happy love day, everybody! And may you all love and be loved!